What if you were so well known for something that people started calling you that by name?
That happened with a guy named Joseph in the New Testament. His nickname stuck so well that it’s the only name most of us know him by.
Barnabas means son of encouragement (or possibly son of consolation).
With Barnabas, encouragement was both words and actions.
We first get to know him in the midst of the vibrant fellowship in the aftermath of Pentecost.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.Acts 4:36-37
How encouraging must that have been? If you don’t have enough and you see someone give of their resources to help, that’s encouragement!
Barnabas literally put his money where his mouth was in terms of his faith lived out.
He was certainly able to speak words of encouragement as well.
News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people.Acts 11:22-25
When things start happening, Barnabas is the guy they think of to send right away. And for good reason.
What did he do when he got there?
He did what they knew he would do.
He encouraged them.
And more people joined in.
That kind of life is contagious.
That kind of life in a community of people is powerful.
I’ll ask you: What are you known for?
The role of encourager is not ‘taken’ You too can jump in and be a Barnabas as well – a son or daughter of encouragement.
You can be a person that everyone is glad to see show up. Who loves and gives and calls people to a life of faith and love and devotion to Jesus together.
Start right now.
It can start with a call or a text or a lunch or a coffee. It might be in the cubicle next to you right now.